I love comfort food, and my Spanish Chicken Soup recipe is precisely that. Shredded chicken with smoky chorizo, fragrant spices, and salty olives in a tomato sauce is heaven.
Okay. I’m the first to admit this might not be completely traditional or authentic. But it’s delicious, and when it comes to eating dinner, I’m after tasty and not following the rules.
It contains plenty of iconic Spanish flavours. Paprika and chorizo give it a warming, smoky flavour. Is there a vegetable more Spanish than peppers? And tinned beans tend to make an appearance in most Spanish-inspired soups and stews.
Can You Make Spanish Chicken Soup in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, Spanish chicken soup can be made in a slow cooker. Tip all your ingredients in, then cook on low for around 6 hours. Remove the chicken, shred it and then return to the pot to warm back through.
How to Make Spanish Chicken Soup
A detailed recipe with full quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1: The first step is to get the base of the soup cooked, so add a splash of olive oil to a large pan, then drop in your onion, peppers and chorizo.
Cook it for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is soft and the chorizo has released plenty of oil.
Step 2: Once softened, add the spices and garlic and allow it to cook for a minute. You’ll want to keep stirring it to avoid burning the garlic. There’s nothing you can do to fix acrid, burnt garlic.
Step 3: Your kitchen should now smell divine, so you can tip in the chopped tomatoes, black olives and beans. Fill the empty can of chopped tomatoes with water and tip this into the pan too. Give everything a stir to combine.
Bring it to a boil, then immediately lower the heat as we don’t want boiled chicken.
Step 4: Nestle the chicken thighs into the soup. You want them to be submerged so that they poach gently and remain soft. Place the lid on the pan and wait 20 minutes for the thighs to thoroughly cook through.
Step 5: Remove the thighs from the pan and shred them with two forks. You still want some decent chicken pieces, so don’t shred them too much.
Return the shredded chicken to the pot, season everything with salt and black pepper, then dish it up.
How Do You Fix Dry Chicken in Soup?
The cause of dry chicken is often the wrong cut (breasts) or too high heat. You want to very gently simmer chicken thighs so that they lightly poach. No one wants boiled chicken breasts!
Once you’ve made your soup, you’ll want to serve it as a proper meal. Here’s what I normally do:
- Add Toppings: If you like things to have a kick, then make sure you serve this soup up with your favourite bottle of hot sauce. If you like things cheesy, then grate over some cheddar cheese and allow it to melt across the top.
- Dunk Crusty Bread: That tomatoey goodness must be mopped up with good-quality crusty bread. I don’t want to see anything left in those bowls!
- Thicken and Serve With Rice: If you’d rather have a more substantial meal, thicken the soup by using less water and reducing the soup before serving it with white rice.
Next time you follow my Spanish chicken soup recipe, why not try some of these tweaks:
- Make It Mexican: This can be easily adapted to turn it into a Mexican soup. Replace the cannellini beans with black beans, add a teaspoon of ground cumin with the spices and serve it with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
- Go From Soup to Stew: Add a little tomato paste to the base of this soup and use less water when filling up the can, and you can go from having a loose soup to a thick stew.
- Use Pre-Cooked Chicken: If you don’t want to wait for the chicken to cook, buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and shred the meat before stirring it through the base of the soup.
- Try Different Cuts of Chicken: Leftover chicken from a roast dinner, chicken legs, bone-in chicken thighs and boneless chicken breasts would all work in this soup. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Use Different Spices: Consider what you have in the cupboard and use those for this soup – Spanish or not! A bay leaf, chilli powder, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and nutmeg would all work in the base of this soup.
- With Potatoes: Consider swapping the beans for some cooked, diced potatoes to bulk the soup. I’ve been known to use tinned potatoes… Don’t tell anyone I know!
This is the perfect dish to batch cook. Double or even triple the quantities to give yourself multiple meals from one pan. But how do you then store it?
Refrigerate: Allow the Spanish chicken soup to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Freeze: Once cool, portion the soup into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space at the top for expansion. You can freeze soup for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until hot.
If refrigerated, reheat it similarly, stirring occasionally to ensure it heats evenly. You can also reheat in a microwave-safe dish in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
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